Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has taken serious heat over his ongoing relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and his resistance of pressure to leverage that relationship for the release of imprisoned American Kenneth Bae.
In an interview with CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo, which aired Tuesday morning, Rodman took things a step further, essentially accusing Bae of an unspecified crime, and bellowing his way through the rest of the Q&A, reports Mediate.com.
Former NBA star Charles Smith, who had been acting as the group’s spokesman to this point in the interview, tried his best to calm Rodman down, but when Cuomo asked about Bae, an incensed Rodman waved Smith off.
“Are you going to take an opportunity, if you get it, to speak up for the family of Kenneth Bae and say, Let us know why this man is being held?’ If you can help them, will you take the opportunity?” Cuomo asked.
“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said with a pause, then added “Do you understand what he did? In this country?”
“What did he do?” Cuomo said. “You tell me.”
“You tell me,” Rodman shouted. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?”
“They haven’t released any charges,” Cuomo said. “They haven’t released any reason.”
“I would love to speak on this,” Rodman said, again waving Smith off.
“Go ahead,” Cuomo urged.
Instead, Rodman went off on Cuomo for the remainder of the interview, screaming at him to recognize the sacrifice being made by his fellow players.
Kenneth Bae is an American citizen who has been held in North Korea since November of 2012, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison last April.